The Outside Is Just As Important As The Inside

When people think about decorating, remodeling, or renovating their homes, they are usually thinking of the inside. The inside of a home is the most important part since that is where most of the family’s time is spent, so it is a great place to start when considering a style change or update. According to Better Homes and Gardens, homeowners should not forget the importance of curb appeal, though. While the inside of the home is fun to upgrade, the outside is equally as fun and is actually a great place to start when considering a remodel. Often times homeowners cringe when they think about making over the outside of their home. Landscaping can seem like a taxing feat, but while it is an important part, landscaping is not the only part of an outdoor makeover.

Creative Outdoor Makeover Techniques

Any kind of remodel can be costly, but it does not have to be. While it might be easier to spend money on readily made décor, it pays to be creative and spend time coming up with unique ways to capture the style you are looking for when remodeling. Consider using materials that are easy to come by and can be painted or fixed up to look nice such as pallets or crates. Pallets or crates can be turned into beautiful weather proof outdoor furniture as well as be used for storage. Not to mention they can easily be found at little to no cost. Turning items such as these into furniture is a great way to spruce up a patio or front porch without spending a fortune. Another part of outdoor remodeling that many homeowners dread is repairing or replacing fences. Instead of spending hundreds of dollars replacing an old wooden fence with fancy new vinyl, consider giving the wooden fence a fun colorful paint job. Wooden fences are also great to hang shelves on to hold plants and other outdoor décor. Gardens and flower beds are a big part of yards, but homeowners do not have to spend lots of money on expensive plants to make them beautiful. Pavers are actually easy to make and there are several unique ways to make them colorful and festive. They also take up space meaning less money has to be spent on plants to fill garden and flower bed space.

These are just a few outdoor decorating ideas that are cheap and easy and make all the difference when it comes to making yards look nice. Again, while remodeling the inside of a home might seem much more fun, homeowners should not underestimate the importance of the outside as well. And as these few techniques have shown us, sprucing up the yard can also be fun!

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The Simplicity of Decorating

There are some people who live to decorate homes. It is their passion, and they definitely have the eye for beauty when it comes to decorating. Then there are people who cringe when they hear the word decorate. They do not understand how different colors match and give certain vibes, or how something as simple as a 12×12 mirror can change the entire feel of a room. Keeping up with the different styles and trends is a job in and of itself, so most people just avoid the task all together. What many people do not know is that there are many classic decorating styles that are easy to put together and do not have to change that often. Another fear people have when it comes to decorating is the cost behind it. Depending on how you go about decorating, you might just have to take out a second mortgage, but there are definitely several ways to save money while decorating that many people forget to consider.

Decorating Tips

House Beautiful gives several easy and unique ways one can decorate on a budget. One way is to pile on the pillows. Whether you purchase pillows or make them yourself, pillows with contrasting colors can spruce up a room while tying it together. Paint and wallpaper colors do everything for a room. Dark colors typically make rooms feel more enclosed or smaller, which is a great look and feel depending on the room. Light colors tend to do the opposite by opening up a room. Paint colors can make all the difference when it comes to decorating, so choose them wisely! Do not be afraid to mix decorating styles. Work with the furniture you already have instead of investing in all new furniture. Not only will this save bundles of money, it is a unique way to decorate. Reupholstering or refinishing older furniture is a great way to save money and put spruce up a room. Use furniture for unique purposes. Instead of a coffee table in the middle of the living room, use an ottoman as the coffee table. Consider using benches instead of chairs around your kitchen table to give it a unique vibe. You might also consider using benches and mismatched chairs in order to modernize your kitchen table. Using old furniture in unique ways is one of the easiest ways to decorate without going into debt. These are just a few decorating ideas that anyone on a budget can accomplish. Sometimes the most difficult part of decorating is just putting your imagination to use! Do not be afraid to have your own eccentric style. The best part of home décor is that it reflects the personality of the people who live there!

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Put Your Stairs to Use

Let’s face it, no matter how big your house is there is always a problem when it comes to finding enough storage space. It is funny how the emptiness of a brand new home can fool you, but as stuff accumulates, storage disappears. While some homeowners give up and just start stacking things wherever they will fit, others are coming up with creative ways to put their staircase to use not only to get from one level of the home to another, but also for other space saving purposes. If you are considering building or even remodeling your home, don’t give the stairs only one function, rather put your imagination to the test by coming up with new ways to give stairs multiple purposes.

According to BuzzFeed and DIY, there are several ways stairs can benefit the home and homebuilders and remodelers should not look past them!

Creative Staircase Functions

The main purpose of a staircase is to allow people to get from one floor to another, but have you ever considered also using the staircase as a bookshelf? Instead of putting a wall next to the staircase, use the side of the stairs or even the space underneath them as shelving for books, knick-knacks, and anything else that needs a home. Other creative homebuilders have turned the empty space under the stairs into roomy storage spaces with easy access by simply lifting up the steps. This is a great way to hide messes as well! Do you hate the mess of shoes in the entryway? If your staircase is close enough your entryway, consider installing pullout drawers on the side of the staircase where shoes can be stored and easily accessed when needed. If you are looking for something fancier than drawers, install wine shelves under the stairs kept safe by elegant cupboard doors to keep your wine collection out of the way, but also easily accessed for those special evenings. Have you ever felt like you just needed your own space to retreat to, a quiet place to read, or even take a nap? Several homeowners have turned the space underneath their staircases into comfortable nooks specifically for these purposes. Humans are not the only beings who need their space, either. Nooks underneath the staircase serve for great pet houses as well! These few ideas are obviously not the only ways staircases can serve multiple purposes; they are just a few examples. Before building or remodeling a home, homeowners should always consider storage, and it is always safe to add more storage rather than less.

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A Buyer’s Guide For Purchasing The Best Sofa For Your Buck

Sofas purchases may not be on the same scale as home or car purchases, but they can be comparable with high-priced electronics and appliances. It’s not a small purchase and so shouldn’t be taken lightly. You don’t want to pay too much for a sofa available cheaper elsewhere, or too little for a sofa that then needs replaced in a year or two. It’s also a fairly permanent fixture, so you’ve got to be willing to commit to what you pick, and avoid impulse buys.

Recognize Sofa Quality

How can you measure the quality of a sofa? Going by price isn’t necessarily going to work. writer and editor Fred Albert had a few guidelines for determining what kind of quality a couch is. “Quality sofas should feel solid and heavy,” Albert said. “Flop around on one to test its sturdiness, then lift it up by the corner and shake it a bit. If it feel light or wobbly, take a pass.” He also said you should look at its frame. Kiln-dried hardwoods, like birch, maple, and oak, are the best, but high-quality hardwood plywood or marine plywood will work too.

Examine The Cushions

The cushion also has quality markers. Albert explained, “The denser the foam, the heavier it is and the longer it will last. In cheapest furniture, the cushion is filled with just the polyurethane foam core. . . . Higher-quality options include poly-down cushions . . . spring down cushions . . . and all down,” though all down cushions tend to be a lot of work to keep clean.

Take Measurements Before Heading To The Store

Sofas should suit the size of the room they’re used in, as well. Before heading out to the store, take measurements of your room’s height, length, and width. Decide what the maximum length is you’d feel comfortable living with. Think about what you’ll be using the sofa for: Reading? Watching TV? Visiting? How far into the room are you willing to allow the couch to project? If you’re thinking about getting one with reclining seats, take into account the space you’ll need in front of and behind the couch.

Albert said, “If you’re short on space, think about buying a sofa with low arms or no arms—it’ll make your room look larger.” He also said to plan on seating one person per cushion, unless you choose a couch with a long cushion or “bench” cushion. The back of the sofa will take up seating space, so consider whether you like the tight back (which is tailored and sewn to the back of the couch) or the pillow back (which is more comfortable but also bulkier and harder to keep looking neat).

Go With Neutral Colors And Patterns
Considering the massive investment you’ll be making, it’s best to choose a fabric that won’t go out of style quickly. Neutral patterns and colors are a safe bet, with the added bonus that you can switch out accent pillows at will to create a new look.

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3 Tips For Home Decor From A Design Pro

It’s no exaggeration to say Darren Palmer is an expert at interior design. Besides having years of experience as an interior designer, he also served as a judge on Australia’s home renovation show, “The Block.” Now he’s renovating his own home and he allowed reporters from the Australian newspaper Courier to come take a look at the “before” picture of his home. While they were there he let them in on his top rules for interior decoration and design.

Avoid “Safe” Design
He’s a big fan of taking chances, so you won’t see any staid, boring design combinations in his home. “People typically make a bunch of safe decisions,” he said. “The problem with safe interiors is they just don’t cut the mustard.”

Contrasting Elements
Viewers of his home will first be struck by his penchant for contrast. He has dark gray slab walls, similar smoky-colored furnishings, and white carpet. He also has tall windows which provide a lot of natural light and ties in the white to his furnishings with white throw pillows, a white matte for a large picture framed on the wall, and white accessories on his geometric bookshelves. Palmer explained his choices, saying, “Tie materials and textures into groups but you need to throwin in contrast against the walls in terms of color.”

Incorporate Personality
Palmer also stressed the need to incorporate your personality into the room. You can do this with artwork, sculptures, plant life, window treatments, and personal pictures. “All these things show your personality and reflect you in your own space,” he said. You won’t want visitors to think they’ve entered a showroom floor or a fancy hotel room when they walk around your home. Make sure anything you hang on your walls means something to you. Don’t just pick out artwork or decorations because they’re the “in” thing.

Be In Charge of Your Lighting
A third tip Palmer wanted to stress was the importance of lighting. It helps create the ambience you want and will highlight the important functions of a room. You can never go wrong with natural lights, but also look into accent lamps and pendant lighting to create the light and shadow you want in your home. It’s all about textures. Palmer added, “Don’t let your electrician be in control or you’ll have no ambience.”

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Before A Home Makeover Project Begins

Everyone is familiar with that feeling of growing anxiety when your home has looked the same for too long. You start itching to rearrange or even replace furniture, and maybe even tear off the wallpaper and rip out the carpet while you’re at it. But before you set out to give your home a complete makeover, you’re going to have to do some careful planning.


Five Things To Consider

Here is a list of five things you’ll want to take into consideration before starting any interior decorating project.

·         Are you planning on hiring an interior designer? If so, you’ll need to do some extensive research to get an idea of their style, prices, and the level of satisfaction their clients have.

·         Be knowledgeable of the most current trends in fashion and design. Consult interior design magazines or a professional designer for ideas.

·         Create a reasonable budget and then get accurate cost estimations. Getting started without an established limit can end up costing you a lot of money.

·         Investigate every company you will be working with. Know how long they’ve been in business, what customer service they offer, and most importantly, know what their previous customers think of them.

·         Is your design practical? Though you’ll most likely be looking at appearance, keep in mind that the design you choose should also be practical. Always try to choose items that serve a purpose while adding to the overall look of your home.


By keeping these things in mind during an interior decorating project, you will have a satisfying finished look.


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